We’ve seen quite a bit of. . .let’s just call it “fluctuation”. . .in the Power Rankings for the Minnesota Vikings this year. After running off five consecutive victories to start the 2016 season, they now need to win on Sunday against the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium just to ensure they don’t finish the season with a losing record. As a result, they’ve fallen a lot in the Power Rankings across the internet.
How big was the drop this week after their eighth loss in the last ten games? Let’s take a spin around the internet and find out.
SB Nation: #25 (Last week: #23)
No commentary about the Vikings this week.
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com: #20 (Last week: #20)
Welp. If this team had about 11 Adam Thielens, it'd be in good shape. Going from 5-0 to 7-8 is never fun, unless you have your eyes set on drafting a guy in the middle of Round 1. On to brighter notes: How about this Adam Thielen?! Dude was competing like Adam West out there ...Sock! Boom! Bam! No, I didn't expect you to get a reference from a cheesy show from the mid-'60s ... but we should all get how impressive this guy's season has been, going from an undrafted third-year player who nobody in pro football was talking about, to putting up two hundy at Lambeau and closing in on a 1,000-yard season. Pow!
Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: #23 (Last week: #21)
I don’t know whether the Vikings’ defensive backs defied coaches orders or, as they all said Monday when the story was blowing up, it was all a big miscommunication. But if the players decided to change Mike Zimmer’s game plan on their own – and again, we don’t know exactly what happened and might never know – I’m not sure how that relationship could be repaired.
Cameron DaSilva, Fox Sports: #25 (Last week: #22)
The Vikings went from potential Super Bowl contenders after five games to having defensive veterans defying Mike Zimmer’s game plan. This team has many question marks, namely who will play quarterback and running back for them in 2017. Entering the offseason, they’ll need to answer those because neither position got enough production this season.
USA Today: #25 (Last week: #22)
Who would have thought talent-laden defense would ultimately be Minnesota's undoing, with secondary apparently going rogue in process?
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: #19 (Last week: #19)
So much promise from the fast starts seems like a different time. They collapsed the past two weeks.
ESPN: #20 (Last week: #20)
The Vikings are 2-8 since Week 7. In that time, only the 49ers, Rams, Browns and Jaguars have posted worse records. That's not company you want to be keeping, especially when you traded your 2017 first-rounder for QB Sam Bradford. The Vikings end their season against the Bears.
Walter Cherepinsky, Walter Football: #24 (Last week: #21)
Pro tip for Minnesota's cornerbacks: Don't mutiny against the head coach, especially one who has decades upon decades of experience coaching great defenses in the NFL. If you do this, you will look stupid, just as you did when Jordy Nelson torched all of your a**es.
It's a sad end for the Vikings, so I once again have to 'member that they were once atop these power rankings.
Chris Burke, SI.com: #25 (Last week: #23)
Props to WR Adam Thielen, who on Saturday joined Paul Flatley, Sammy White, Randy Moss and Sidney Rice as the only Vikings ever with a 200-yard receiving game. Thielen’s play has been a gold bar hidden in the pile of horse manure this Vikings season turned out to be.
Chris Simms, Bleacher Report: #25 (Last week: #23)
News flash, Terence Newman.
You’ve been around football for 20 years or so. Mike Zimmer’s been around it for a lifetime. You and your mutinous cornerback buddies don’t know better than one of the league’s most respected defensive minds.
And two more things: 1. Zimmer took a chance on you when no one else wanted a 38-year-old corner, and 2. Your ploy didn’t even work. Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson (154 yards and two touchdowns) smoked the Vikings secondary.
Looking forward: After starting 5-0, the Vikings can only play for pride and Philadelphia’s draft position against the Bears. What a bummer.
Well, three of our ten sets of rankings kept the Vikings exactly where they were the previous week, including Pete Prisco, who is one of only two rankers that has the Vikings still in the Top 20 teams in the NFL. The other seven each dropped the team at least two spots.
Just how far has this team fallen? Well, back in Week 6, coming off of their bye week, the Vikings’ average ranking for our ten sets of Power Rankings was 1.4. Six sets of rankings had them at #1, three more at #2, and one at #3. This week’s average ranking? 23.1. That’s quite the fall-off.
Here’s the sad, sad graphical representation for this week. If you’d like, you may click to embiggen.
Only one more of these to go, ladies and gentlemen. Maybe the Vikings can get the proverbial “dead cat bounce” next week with a win over Chicago. . .or they could drop even further after another embarrassing loss. Which will it be? We’ll know by Sunday night!